(a) The purpose of this section is to develop incentives and emphasize performance-based oversight to regulatory outcomes. Regulatory outcomes are assessed for the following key regulatory goals:
(1) provide timely and accurate income and medical benefits;
(2) increase timely and accurate communications among system participants;
(3) encourage safe and timely return of injured employees to productive roles;
(4) promote safe and healthy workplaces;
(5) ensure each injured employee shall have access to prompt, high-quality, cost-effective medical care; and
(6) limit disputes to those appropriate and necessary.
(b) At least once every biennium, the Division shall assess the performance of insurance carriers and health care providers based on the key regulatory goals stated in subsection (a)(1)(6) of this section.
(c) Insurance carriers and health care providers who are assessed will be placed into one of the following regulatory tiers based upon their level of compliance with the Labor Code and related rules and their performance in meeting the key regulatory goals in § 180.19(a) relative to the performance of all other assessed insurance carriers and health care providers:
(1) high performers;
(2) average performers; or
(3) poor performers.
(d) Incentives will be based on the regulatory tier into which the insurance carrier or health care provider was placed after being assessed on the key regulatory goals.
(e) In granting incentives, the Commissioner may also consider any other factors that the Commissioner finds relevant which leads to overall compliance or which may adversely impact the workers' compensation system.
(f) Incentives for insurance carriers and health care providers placed into the high performer regulatory tier are:
(1) public recognition, and
(2) use of that designation as a marketing tool.
(g) Other incentives for insurance carriers and health care providers placed into a regulatory tier may include:
(1) limited audit exemption for insurance carriers and health care providers placed in the average and high performers regulatory tiers, while reserving the Division's discretion to audit an average or high performer if deemed necessary;
(2) penalties which may be lower than normally assessed for insurance carriers and health care providers who have been placed in the high performer regulatory tier;
(3) penalties which may be reduced for insurance carriers and health care providers in any regulatory tier who self-disclose non-compliance;
(4) flexibility for audits and inspections based on performance and placement in any regulatory tier; and
(5) any other incentive the Commissioner may deem appropriate.
The provisions of this § 180.19 adopted to be effective January 16, 2008, 33 TexReg 428.